Due to rapidly changing social attitudes and a faltering economy built by practices many economic and scientific experts see flaws in, investors are turning to a new style of investment practices known as Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). According to a study published recently by the International Finance Corporation. This report addressed sustainable investment opportunities in emerging markets around the world. Another report from UBS Wealth Management Research, titled “Emerging Market Equities: Sustainable Investment Opportunities” addresses the numbers of investors allocating assets in these new markets.
According to the UBS report, investors are embracing SRI in emerging markets to the tune of $50 billion, as of the second quarter of 2008. An additional $250 billion in assets were being stewarded by non-SRI focused investment managers who have begun taking economic and social factors into consideration in regards to their investment choices. These figures signal a shift in investor mentalities and are being viewed as proof that there is more to the much lauded “green revolution” than was previously believed in terms of investor confidence. These figures are particularly striking in light of the fact that a global recession is underway.
Key areas of interest to SRI investors have become affordable homes in Latin America and sustainable vehicles in China. Renewable energy sources such as solar cell production and biofuel refinement factories are also areas of strong interest for investors in many different nations.
The UBS report concludes that investors considering the switch to an SRI-focused portfolio will be, “investing in companies that contribute to solving environmental and social challenges in emerging market countries.”